Cyprus Mail

MPs fix mistake over auditor general’s checks of co-op sector

Voting in parliament

PARLIAMENT on Friday rectified a mistake it made last month to prohibit the auditor-general from undertaking an administrative audit at the nationalised co-operative sector.

The auditor’s power to carry out administrative audits at the co-op sector was abolished by a bill Diko and Akel had passed by mistake.

On Friday, the two parties approved legislation reinstating the auditor’s authority to probe licensed lenders directly supervised by the European Central Bank.

Parties also passed a law restricting the auditor’s powers – banning the service from lifting banking confidentiality and ensuring the audit was based on international standards.

Diko and Akel’s proposal was supported by ruling Disy, which also backed the second bill.

Akel parliamentary spokesman said they were correcting a procedural mistake. He said the amendments had been supported by the auditor-general.

It followed a long-drawn debate over whether the auditor should be able to check the co-op sector’s books.

The finance minister wanted to restrict the auditor’s access, arguing that the Co-operative Central Bank, which was bailed out by taxpayers with €1.7b, should be treated as non-state owned, citing the need for flexibility dictated by competitive market conditions.


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